Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Warmly Remembered

In 1974, My parents sold their long-time holdings in Milk River, Alberta and bought a ranch in the Spring Point community nestled in the beautiful Porcupine Hills west of Fort Macleod, Alberta.
It was a difficult time for the entire family, leaving the home we had known for generations and putting down fresh roots in a place eighty miles away.
Okay, yes, our family members came with us.
As did our cattle and horses and daily chores.
But the scenery – and the neighbours – were different.
Especially the neighbours.
No longer did we have anyone who could reminisce with us about our years without phones.
Navigating sketchy gravel roads.
Trips into town.
Barn dances.
School bus rides.
Everything that simply went into being ‘neighbours’.
For a short time, we felt bereft. (Ooh, good word!)
Then, slowly, the people who lived in nearby ranches introduced themselves.
They proved to be kind, wonderful people.
All of them.
And we were welcomed.
We attended new celebrations.
Mom introduced the Spring Point community to the concept of quilting and started their first, ever, quilting club.
I met and married my Husby.
They were warm, wonderful years.
Our family was loved.
As Mom’s health worsened, my father took a position in another town and retired from ranching.
The rest of the family followed within a couple of years.
We do tend to stick together.
And the name ‘Stringam’ disappeared from the town rosters.
Moving ahead . . .
I was back in the ‘old stomping grounds’ once more.
I walked the old streets, but recognized no one.
Then I toured Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a World Heritage site which almost directly overshadows the old ranch.
And visited Heritage Acres, ditto.
I was speaking to one of the employees.
I mentioned that our family had lived just below the site.
She immediately asked who I was.
I told her.
“The Stringams!” she exclaimed. “Of course we remember you! Your Mom started the quilting club! It still meets. Every week!”
It’s been over forty years.
In Fort Macleod, there are only a few people who remember the Stringams and their few short years there.
But those that do . . .

Details from the quilt.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Do as I say...

What do you think?
First, a little background…
In our church, we have something called ‘The Lord’s Law of Health’ or the ‘Word of Wisdom’.
It was given to us back in the 1830s and, in a nutshell, consists of advice like: Cigarettes and alcohol aren’t good for you. Neither are tea and coffee. You should eat right and get lots of exercise. And if you do these things, you will be blessed with good health.
My family, including my parents, were raised on this.
Thus we were a non-smoking, non-drinking, eat-well household.
Oh, us kids branched out occasionally (don’t tell Mom and Dad!) but mostly, we toed the line.
The only time I ever tried smoking was at the age of 10 when my best friend’s worldly-wise cousin came to visit from the big city, stole some money, and bought cigarettes with it.
It didn’t end well.
Of course, we were caught.
And of course the weight of my parents’ disappointment and disapproval nearly crushed me.
Ensuring I would never EVER try that again.
You can read the full story here. Go ahead. We’ll wait…
Back? Let’s move on…
I have this picture of my dad, taken when he was a Veterinarian student at Guelf Veterinary College in about 1947 by one of his roommates.
He is being studious.
But I want you to look closely at the picture.
Because Daddy was right-handed.
And in his right hand is a pen.
In his left hand is, according to Daddy, another pen.
So, I ask again—What Do You Think?
The monkey…

P.S. Daddy once told me a story about how his request for an increased allowance while attending college was refused by Gramma Stringam because he would (and I quote) 'just use it for buying cigarettes'.
I shook my head in disbelief at her 'so-obviously-way-off-the-mark' comment.
Sooo, my head's not shaking now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

60 and Counting

For my baby brother and all those turning this year.... I can dimly remember it...

At 60 years old, your birthday suit requires regular ironing.
They put all 60 candles on your cake, but by the time they get the last one lit, the first twenty have already burned out.
People call you “spry” and you’re not offended.
It’s time to start yelling at the television.
Fortune tellers read your face instead of your palm.

Your favorite station on cable is the Weather Channel.
Target and Walmart is where you shop for great, stylin’ clothes.
You know your way around but you really don’t want to go anywhere. Ever.
Your wife suggests you pull in your stomach and you get a hernia doing it.
The 60 candles on your cake set off the sprinkler system.

You miss your high school car, but you can’t remember your classmates.
No More Tank Tops. It's a rule.
Your pants creep upward as you age. By 60 you’re a pair of pants with a head.
You can still chase women. Downhill.
When someone leaves you a sexy mirror lipstick message, your first reaction is how to clean it off.

Your favorite classic rock? Elevator music.
You wonder why the TV remote isn’t working, then realize it’s a cordless phone.
At the gym, you mostly do squats because of how they help you in the bathroom.
When classic movies come on, your comments are: “She’s dead. He’s dead. They’re all dead.”
Your childhood toys sell for a fortune on eBay.

The sheer quantity of gold in your mouth would make a decent retirement plan.
Your parties never even wake up the dog, let alone the neighbors.
Sucking in your gut can blow the hair right off the top of your head.
When you sit and relax on a park bench, boy scouts offer to help you cross … your legs.

Not wearing a bra tugs the wrinkles right out of your face.
Just saw this headline: "Godzilla turns 60." Life was pretty good before I knew I was OLDER THAN GODZILLA.
It took me awhile, but I’m finally a 60-year-old senior. How much longer till graduation?
Two of the most important things in life are bowel movements and nose hair.

Birthday thrills: more pills, more chills, more bills.
You can start bragging about your age. How else are you going to get your senior discounts?
“Chasing girls” refers almost exclusively to granddaughters.
Turning 60? Look on the bright side: you’re still younger than Mick Jagger.
I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again. But I wouldn’t mind looking like one.

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: each month one of the participating bloggers pick a number between 12 and 74. All bloggers taking part that month are then challenged to write using that exact number of words in their post either once or multiple times.

This month’s word count number is: 60
It was chosen by: ME!
At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what numbers they got and how they used them. 
Links to the other Word Counters posts:

Monday, August 17, 2020

Responsibly Irresponsible

My Grampa and me, we’re a pair, it is true,
And when we’re together there’s lots we can do,
Sometimes we go fishing, sometimes weed the yard,
We really have fun or we work really hard,
He says that those things he is teaching to me,
Are summed in one word: Responsibility!

One day while we two were just lying around,
A spider crawled over to him, there on the ground,
And took a big bite out of Grampa’s strong arm,
Grampa jumped up and was filled with alarm,
I laughed and said, “Grampa, you’re fine, I am sure!
“That spider’s not toxic. Your life is secure!”
“You don’t understand, Son, just what is at stake,
“I’m for being responsible, make no mistake,
“But this sense of duty’s much more than I’d planned…
“At my age I can’t handle becoming Spiderman!”

Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try and make the week begin
With pleasant thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So Jenny, Charlotte, Mimi, me
Have crafted poems for you to see,
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help?
Or did we not?

Next week, cause I happen to like them a lot,
We're talking 'tomatoes'. From home or store-bought...

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!

Real Estates: All Murders Included in the Price!
My FIRST murder mystery!

Blessed by a Curse

Blessed by a Curse
My very first Medieval Romance!

God's Tree

God's Tree
For the Children

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at and .ca and and other fine bookstores.

Romance still wins!

Romance still wins!
First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven


A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.


Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.


Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?